- High-end phone with Android 11
- Thermal camera is useful and fun
- Robust and rugged
- No wireless charging but has a decent dock
- Too thick for a kickstand or tripod
If you’re in the market for a mobile phone, the market is overloaded with options. Of course, iOS and Android phones are dominant, and sure, new iPhones are rich in features, but nobody would presume to claim them to be rugged. One of the current leaders in this rugged end of the phone spectrum is AGM. Its flagship, the Glory G1S, a feature-loaded, tough and versatile phone, positions itself as the iPhone killer in outdoorsy, manual labor and traveling environments. This review takes a closer look.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by AGM. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
Built for Hard Work
The AGM Glory G1S Phone is an Android 11-based rugged smartphone, featuring a front camera up to 48MP, a macro camera for close ups, a low light mode, a night-shot style IR mode, and a proper pro grade thermal imaging camera. It has rugged, reinforced corners, a built-in screen protector, a protective ridge around the screen, and rubber plugs in all ports. It has a built-in LED flash and even a laser pointer. This is a camera for the working stiff, someone who gets their hands dirty. It’s a Swiss Army knife, a digital multitool fit for any tool belt.
But it’s also a powerful phone, with Android 11, free range of the entire Google Play Store, and very good at being a small office in your pocket. It integrates well with Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc., because it’s an Android. The styling is such that it would seem at home in a toolbox or on a bench, all hard black rubber with orange accents.
It comes with replacement bungs for your ports, should they become detached or lost, and a power cable and dock so that you can just throw it on there for charging. All this adds up to a phone that looks the part and feels the part. It looks much more like a tool than a toy.
The first thing that strikes you about the AGM Glory G1S Phone is the form factor. It’s big and has quite a heft to it. It’s about 300g, similar to an empty ceramic mug – hefty but not heavy. The screen is 6.53” on the diagonal, which makes it bigger than a standard iPhone and more in the iPhone Pro category, size-wise.
The screen is very detailed and described as FHD+, which, although usually described as 2220×1080, in this case is 2340×1080. That’s a high-def screen. The network speed of the phone is up to 5G (although like all phones, it degrades gracefully to 4G and 3G as required), and the processor inside running the show, as with all phones in the Glory line, is the Snapdragon 480.
It doesn’t wirelessly charge, as it uses the slightly lower tech but more reliable docking station, which makes physical contact with the contacts on the back of the phone when in place.
The cameras on board are impressive, and the picture quality with the front-facing Sony IMX582 48MP camera is superb. There’s also a 20MP night vision camera, 2MP macro camera and 20MP selfie camera. The night vision camera is pretty decent, though I found the resolution to be a bit fluffy. The macro camera isn’t very good compared to the 48MP main camera, and although it gets closer, I found in most instances that the main camera got close enough and at a higher resolution.
As far as the speed, I tested it with some gaming. Obviously, most modern games run beautifully, as you’d expect with a new phone and a new game. I decided to tax it a bit with something I know to be difficult with mediocre processors, namely running emulations. Playstation and N64 emulators are typically difficult to run smoothly due to their dependence on 3D graphics. They provided no problems at all, and I can report that it plays a satisfying game of Super Smash Bros.
The biggest delight with the AGM Glory G1S Phone was something I’d never have thought of as a feature I’d enjoy: the thermal imaging camera. I understand most standalone thermal cams have a resolution in the 160×120 range, but the G1S thermal delivers 256×192 in both still and video.
I did find the video stuttered and hung a little compared to the main video camera, but if it’s doing more work and adding compression to that, that’s fair. It’s a measuring device rather than a creative camera.
I didn’t realize how useful and sensitive a thermal image camera could be. Personally, I think sometimes its temperature readings are a bit off, but it’s a fascinating and useful tool. In the recent hot spell we’ve been experiencing in Europe, it’s been useful to see which parts of the house are sources of heat.
On the side of the handset is a configurable user button that can be changed to a shutter button to activate the torch or the laser pointer (yes, there is a built-in laser pointer) or various other frequently-used features. My biggest problem with this was choosing between torch and laser pointer. I change it back and forth all the time, as I can’t decide which I like best. It’s a nice problem to have.
As with many Android phones, the fingerprint scanner is on the back of the phone. I’ve never really been a fan of this placement, but you get used to it. The battery life is really good, and with normal usage, I was getting a good two days out of it before I had to return it to the dock.
The other downside is the lack of a stand or prop so that you can set the phone down. The thickness of the handset rules out most ordinary props, as it is too big to go into the slot. I solved the problem with a little beanbag, which puts it at the right angle nicely.
Availability of the AGM Glory G1S Phone
The AGM Glory G1S Phone is a proper high-end phone. It’s sturdy and tough, with a reassuring weight, bristling with features, and is fast with no perceptible lag, even when playing fast games. It’s quickly becoming my favorite tool. You can pick it up for $699.
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